Fine Free 2023

Jan. 03, 2023

How will it work?

  • Items that are returned after their due date will not result in a fine for the patron
  • Items that have not been returned for 30 days will be marked as lost and result in a replacement fee for the patron
  • Until the item is returned (which waives the replacement fee) or the replacement fee is paid, the patron cannot borrow additional items
  • This policy only applies to Hinton Municipal Library cardholders. Local library policies still apply for any patrons whose home membership is with another library.

Why eliminate late fees?

  • Fees disproportionately affect certain demographics (such as families and seniors)
  • People may stop coming to the library when they owe money and keep the items rather than returning them
  • The time and resources spent collecting fees is not worth the cost to our patrons
  • Borrowing will be more accessible to patrons who live outside of Town

Won't people stop returning their items then?

Studies show there is no significant increase to late returns when fines are eliminated. Patrons are also blocked from borrowing if they do not return an item within the 30-day grace period. 

Will I have to wait longer for my holds?
Studies have shown there is no significant increase to hold times. Patrons are able to borrow books from all over Alberta, so there should be no affect to how long it takes you to get your holds. 

Aren't late fees a source of revenue?
Yes, but they do not make up a significant percentage of our funding.

Are other libraries going fine free?

25 libraries in Alberta have already gone fine free, including Edmonton Public Library and Calgary Public Library.

Any more questions?

Email for more information! Check out for related studies and to see a list of all Canadian libraries that are currently fine-free.